The professional handling of exceptional players like Mbappe and Neymar!

The professional handling of exceptional players like Mbappe and Neymar!

They solve 1 vs 3 situations, play the impossible passes through the interface, go past several opponents while dribbling at speed, make opponents despair, play with courage and risk, score the decisive goal in the last minute and simply stand out in the team with their technical qualities out of here.

The exceptional players are admired by spectators, teammates and opponents, scouts and coaches for their performance on the pitch! But who actually are these exceptional players and why don't we have more of them?

Every coach is lucky to have such an exceptional player in his team and to be able to improve him further. Surely you also have one that stands out with its qualities. However, first you have to correctly recognize the qualities of a player. There are players about whom we coaches have different opinions when it comes to his qualities. Why are the opinions different? Because different coaches have different ideas about football and therefore different demands on the players. But everyone recognizes the one TOP player. The one who makes the difference, the one you want for your team.

Let’s assume you have this exceptional player on your team. Someone with street footballer quality. In our ideal, these are also the players who have an outstanding personality and are tactically at their best. If you really have one of those, call me, I would like to get to know the player personally! However, sometimes the players with exceptional qualities are not the easiest for the coaches. Let's take a look:


Exceptional talents often have their strengths on the offensive. They create special situations. Defensively, coaches demand absolute discipline in the respective tactical instructions and the creative player often falls through the cracks. What shouldn't happen now is to force the player into a rigid concept, as this can help basic defensive stability, but it suppresses creative thoughts. Of course, the outcome of the game is important to you, but it is even more important that solutions are found that combine both things, because cooperation is extremely productive.


The exceptional players often have outstanding technique, which they use correctly depending on the situation. In purely technical forms of exercise, these technical processes may no longer look so clean. In the game the player intuitively finds the right action, in the practice form he thinks too much about the correct sequence of events. Sure, coach him so that he gets better, but also be aware that the correct sequence of movements in a form of exercise is not as important as the correct sequence of movements under time, opponent and space pressure.

Forms of games and exercises

By now it should be clear to us what the creative player loves more. Competitions, pressure situations and challenges in game forms should generally have a very high priority in training. Here, too, you can further challenge your creative player individually through additional provocation rules such as: play with at least 3 contacts, no cross passes, “play and go” as a requirement in the final third.


It can also be the case that creative players have a mind of their own and are conspicuous for their lack of discipline. Coaches need to teach discipline to these players. However, this should be within a jointly defined framework within which the player is allowed to move. A distinction must also be made between obedience and self-discipline. While the former is joining or even drilling and this also restricts players and can even lead to a bad mood in the team, the coach should instill self-discipline. The coach can find out what the player's goals are in a conversation. By becoming aware of the goals and with the support of the coach, the player can learn self-discipline if he really wants to achieve his goal.

There are certainly other exciting points that you should consider when working with an exceptional player, but I would still like to briefly focus on the coach here:

  1. The (potential) exceptional player on your team may be the smallest. Bet on him instead of physically strong but less good players.
  2. As a trainer, you have to have the foresight to decide which measures you can use to further promote creativity and which ones you can use to kill it.
  3. A trainer is also an educator. Establish a discipline framework and identify the player's goals to develop self-discipline.
  4. Creative solutions increase the risk of errors. Allow them, correct them and show alternative solutions.

Exceptional players need the trust that they can “just do it” on the pitch. Give them freedom because that will make them better. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't coach them, but rather show them other alternative courses of action. We need creative players, so demand creativity. It takes you, your team and your exceptional player further!

Have fun in the next training!

Your Tammo

Author: Tammo Neubauer

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